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Birmingham Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > Using Text Messages As Evidence In Your Alabama Divorce Case

Using Text Messages As Evidence In Your Alabama Divorce Case


Text messages get an unfair share of the blame for technology-related distractions.  Of all the social media notifications and announcements of newly released clickbait that reach your phone in the time it takes you to drive from the supermarket to your home, when a police officer pulls you over, he will insinuate that you were texting and driving.  It doesn’t inspire your jealousy if your spouse exchanges emails with an opposite sex coworker outside of work hours, but it does if your spouse frequently sends text messages to the same coworker.  Text messages are remarkably efficient at distracting you; they are also remarkably efficient at communicating.  In fact, sometimes they are the preferred method of communication between spouses who are in the process of divorce or whose marriage is on the rocks.  Therefore, if your spouse says one thing to you over text message and another in the courtroom, you can reveal the truth.  A Birmingham divorce lawyer can help you back up your claims in family court with strong evidence, including but not limited to text messages from your spouse.

How to Obtain Text Message Records to Use in Court

The best reason to show your text messages in court is to prove that you said something that your spouse denies knowing about or to prove that your spouse said something that he or she denies saying.  Your text message exchanges can serve as proof of your transparency and punctuality, or conversely, they can serve as proof of your spouse’s bad temper and habit of flaking on parenting commitments.

These are some ways that you can get an official record of the SMS text messages you exchanged with your spouse in relation to a certain matter of dispute in your divorce of co-parenting case:

  • Your lawyer can send a letter to your cell phone service provider, citing the federal Stored Communications Act and requesting a copy of the text messages you exchanged with a certain phone number in a certain date range.
  • The court can request the text message records directly, by sending a subpoena to the cell phone service provider.
  • Your lawyer can ask the court for a court order requiring your spouse to present a copy of the text message records.

Of course, this only works for old-fashioned SMS text messages, the kind that, on today’s smartphones, can look like anything from professionally written emails to a jumble of emojis that express emotions so intense that you cannot put them into words, but which are transmitted through your cell phone service.  It doesn’t work for communications that you exchange on messaging apps whose selling point is the fact that they do not store the messages that their users exchange.  To use these messages as evidence in your divorce case, you must take screenshots.

Contact Peeples Law About Millennial Divorce

A Birmingham family law attorney can help you finalize your divorce if your relationship with your spouse began and ended over text message.  Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation.



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